Thursday, July 25, 2013

McLemore a big hit at Chalmers’ all-star game

Former Kansas basketball player Ben McLemore signs autographs for fans at the Mario Chalmers All Pro Celebrity basketball game Thursday at Olathe East.

Former Kansas basketball player Ben McLemore signs autographs for fans at the Mario Chalmers All Pro Celebrity basketball game Thursday at Olathe East.


— The Sacramento Kings will be happy to know their top draft pick, Ben McLemore, didn’t risk injury by playing in Mario Chalmers’ Miracle Shot camp all-star game on Thursday night at Olathe East.

The No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft out of Kansas University was content to sign autographs for 500 or so fans at halftime and after the game, while also serving as an assistant coach next to the Miami Heat’s Chalmers.

“Mario invited me to be here. I wanted to show my support. He’s a KU fan. He’s a KU alumni. I’m a KU alumni too. It’s just the love of the Jayhawk family,” said McLemore, who last week wrapped up his two-week stay in Las Vegas for five NBA Summer League games.

“Mario’s game is great. I love his game,” the 6-foot-5 McLemore said of the 6-2 Chalmers, who just completed his fifth season in the NBA. “I’m definitely going to try to get a lot of advice from him throughout the season. He played at the same school as me. He’s been there a while. He knows the life.”

McLemore’s first taste of the NBA played to mixed reviews. He averaged 15.8 points (off 33.3 percent shooting; 19.4 percent from three) and 5.0 rebounds a game for the 1-4 Kings. He had a monster final game, exploding for 27 points off 10-of-21 shooting in a win over the Atlanta Hawks.

“The NBA is a different game. I just have to get used to it. The summer league ... I struggled a little bit but I got used to it, I definitely did,” McLemore said. “When I went there I wanted to work on my all-around game and go in there and play ball, go in and have fun, work on some things like ballhandling.”

He had 18 turnovers in the five games.

“I enjoyed my team, meeting my new teammates and new ownership, playing my game,” McLemore said.

McLemore said he hoped to spend a few days in his home town of St. Louis before heading to the NBA rookie transition program in New York.

“I’m being a kid right now, just being here with the fans of Kansas,” said McLemore. “I’ve been working out. I’ve been in summer league, getting ready, getting prepared, prepared to start.”

He won’t receive the first paycheck (he’s ticketed to make about $2,413,000 in 2013-14) until the season starts.

“I haven’t bought anything yet. I don’t have money yet to buy anything like that,” he said of cars and residences. “I’ve been buying little things I need. I don’t have a place yet. I’m just now figuring out what I’m going to do.”

Robinson signs two-year deal

Former KU guard Russell Robinson reported that he’s signed a two-year deal with Stelmet Zielona Gora in Poland. He’s also played in Spain and France during his career. “The money’s good. I get to see the world. It’s been exciting,” said Robinson, who showed up for Thursday’s game sporting a mohawk haircut. Former KU players Jeff Graves, Jeff Hawkins, Brady Morningstar, Conner Teahan participated in the celebrity all-star game with Robinson and former KC area college players at O-East.

Self on NBA jobs

The hiring of Butler’s Brad Stevens by the NBA Boston Celtics have made some wonder if teams will begin an all-out hiring assault for college coaches like KU’s Bill Self.

“Well, nobody has really flirted with me. I’m not going to say no one has called,” KU coach Self said Thursday on Andy Katz’s Katz’s Corner on ESPN. “I don’t believe there’s been a lot of interest. Personally I think I have one of the premier jobs in the world at any level. I think there’s a lot of jobs out there in the league that are hard jobs just like there are college jobs that are hard jobs. I’m blessed to be at a place I think we can attract good players year in and out.

“I think everybody thinks about it, coaching at the highest level, being able to test your skills of your trade against the so-called best of the best, with the best athletes to work with. That’s not anything that’s ever motivated me. I think everybody thinks about doing different things from time to time not to the point where there’s actually serious interest. There hasn’t been for me. Then again I haven’t been flirted with very much. I love where I’m at. You have been to Lawrence,” he added, speaking to Katz. “It’s a different place. As long as we can keep getting good players hopefully I can stick around a while.”

Embiid a top-two pick

Louisville coach Rick Pitino tells ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that freshman center Joel Embiid is the most impressive prospect in the recruiting class of 2013.

“I think Kansas could have the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the draft with (Andrew) Wiggins and Embiid. (Embiid) does everything,” Pitino said.


TheBoHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree with Pitino...Embiid will be a lottery pick without a doubt...Hopefully our local boys will stick around awhile (Ellis and Frankamp)...Selden, Wiggins and Embiid are likely gone after this year...possibly Greene as well...he reminds me alot of Klay Thompson.

VegasHawk55 8 years, 10 months ago

If KU makes the final four I predict Wiggins, Selden and Embiid departure. Anything less and I believe it'll just be Wiggins. Embiid will be battling minutes off the bench with Lucas (behind Black as the likely starter) and would need some huge games to guarantee a lottery selection in next years draft. He'd be better off putting in another year to secure a lottery pick in a weaker draft. Frankamp and Greene are 4 year players and Ellis is too involved in academics to leave anything sooner than after his junior season.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, I suspect that Embiid's stock will be tempered and drop when he doesn't get crazy good minutes right out of the gate. Unless they put on a run and go deep like you mentioned then I would expect him to stay.

I really believe that we're only going to see Wiggins go after this season.

Of course, we lose Black to running out of eligibility too.

Mickelson's already a given new incomer for the following year. I think we can nab two more.

I have a REALLY hard time seeing Greene be any less than 3AD.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

• Rick made recruiting a big a little easier for Self. Are tennis shoes thicker than water?

• Currently, the NBA appears to stand for Nike Basketball Association. Nike reputedly has an even stronger hold in the L than in D1. Endorsement contracts are reputedly where the really big bones are.

• Brad Stevens and Butler were apparently creatures of Nike and that may have made Brad a good candidate for attracting top talent to an NBA team, like the Celts getting ready to rebuild will need to do, in a league where so many superstars are signed with Nike.

• One possible inference to draw from Brad Stevens' experience is this: Brad was apparently not so much a home boy turning down blue blood universities so he could raise his kids in Indiana, as perhaps he was a very good Nike coach being groomed for a pro job. Or are we to believe that bean towners just really prefer guys from small Indiana schools like Butler and Indiana State and the Nike connection was irrelevant?

• If you were a rebuilding pro franchise owner needing to sign and hold some franchise players, who would you rather have right now? A coach tight with Nike, or a coach tight with Adidas?

• A Nike coach is probably a strong attraction in the NBA, where signing free agents and holding onto players after their first contracts appears to depend significantly on where a ShoeCo might want a star/endorser located.

• Self, increasingly identified with Adidas, may not be as good of a fit, as Stevens in a number of franchises. If you've got to attract a Nike-lean franchise player, Bill may not be so sexy.

• So: perhaps Self is serious about not being flirted with right now. He at least sounded like a good looking woman not getting asked out as much as people would think. Until Adidas opens up the pocket book and fills the pros with Adidas star/endorsers the way it has apparently started doing in college only recently, Self may often not meet a possible litmus for certain jobs in the NBA.

jhox 8 years, 10 months ago

You're reaching a bit with this line of thinking, Jaybate..

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago


Part 1

My reasoning here is just a hypothesis that fits the facts I have observed so far. If you have facts that show it does not fit, then I of course want to hear them. But you aren't giving me any. You are engaging in an ungrounded judgement, which is okay to do, but alas not very persuasive to me.

And even better, can you posit another hypothesis that would more fittingly explain Boston's preference for Brad Stevens over, say, Bill Self?

Bill Self's comments would suggest that he was probably not even flirted with by Boston.

I wonder why?

At first I thought maybe wanting to coach Tyler a few years would explain it, but Self has never said, "I'm not going to entertain NBA offers until after Tyler graduates." Self has been very consistent over the years, regardless of the age of his children, or what have you. There are only a few jobs at the NBA level that would be jobs he would consider. He always says he is happy at KU, but that he would always consider an NBA job if it were the right one.

Brad Stevens was waaaaay more emphatic about never leaving Butler than Bill Self has been about his tenure at KU. Self has always made clear that if the right position in the NBA came along he would at least consider it.

Yet apparent Nike Lean Brad without a ring and without nearly the coaching bonafides and record that Self has, and without IMHO near the charisma, is suddenly the head coach of one of the handful of premier franchises in the NBA.

What would make the legendary Boston Celtics decide Brad Stevens was a better college head coach even just to flirt with than Bill Self?

I mean Brad has been so publicly firm about wanting to be home in Indiana to raise his children in a way that Self never has been. Self has always said he and his staff are in Lawrence, because it is a very special place in college basketball. It is a place with the kind of tradition and institutional support, and name recognition, where he can recruit the kind of talent he feels is necessary to compete at a high level, if I have understood his comments over the years. He has never said it is the only place. Nor has he ever said the NBA has no allure for him. Therefore, it remains striking to me that Brad Stevens would be the preferred objective for Boston to "flirt" with.

As always, I am eager to embrace more fitting hypotheses from you, or others. That is the whole point of exploring this on the site.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Part 2

IMHO, the problem one faces in positing a more fitting hypothesis in the case of Brad Stevens and Bill Self, however, remains this: Bill's comments lead one to believe that he perhaps didn't even get flirted with by Boston. I could understand if Boston flirted with Self AND Stevens and Self flatly declined the flirtation, but Self's comments don't signal that was the case.

jhox, do you think that Brad getting a couple second place finishes at Butler at an apparently Nike aligned mid major suggests Self is an inferior candidate? Self has proven he can win 84% of his games, 9 conference titles, one ring, and a second place finish WITHOUT an apparent Nike alliance. Self is such a tremendous coach he could come within striking range with 5 minutes to go of Cal's apparent Nike-aligned Fabulous Six OADS WITHOUT a single Mickey D!!!!

I can understand Boston "flirting" with both guys and deciding to go with Stevens to cut a corner on salary, or because they thought he would be younger and easier to control, or because they just plain liked the cut of Brad's jib better after flirting with both. These things happen in the real world.

But apparently not even to flirt with Self?

Hmmmmmm, I just don't grasp that at all.

But you seem pretty confident that my hypothesis does not fit very well, so I am looking forward to your take showing where it does not fit well, and maybe a more fitting hypothesis, as well. Thanks in advance.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago


Thanks for your insight. That is food for my thinker!

Any idea what they will be wearing this season?

texashawk10 8 years, 10 months ago

Adidas provides the apparel for the NBA. The only choice the players have is shoes.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 10 months ago

What pros are associated with adidas. I thought I remembered at one time that John Wall is.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 10 months ago

Very interesting that Derrick Rose and John Wall are adidas sporters. Being as they both are products of the John Calipari, WWW Nike Regime

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 10 months ago

If the NBA is so in love with Nike, then why does the NBA have a uniform contract with adidas? All NBA Team uniforms and apparel are adidas. I guess Nike is too busy supplying the NFL? Is it a federal antitrust issue, or what?

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago


Great adds to the discussion! This super interesting. Nike reputedly dominates IN TERMS OF THE TOTAL NUMBER of NBA stars under contract and in terms of the largest number of superstars.

So: it is a very interesting situation to have Adidas reputedly handling uniforms and apparel!

Most oligopolies share parts of markets and then agree to let one oligopolists have certain niches and other oligopolists have other niches. For example Ford and GM share the pony car market with Mustangs and Camaros, but Ford agrees to let GM have the Corvette market to itself. Maybe some of this goes on.

But also, what if the strategic parameters between Nike and Adidas were changing due to outside forces? What if the cooperative agreements of the past were in flux and things were moving toward more competition and less cooperation?

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree with you. They hire the best coach they can. So: since Self is clearly the better coach, why did the Celts hire Stevens?

My hypothesis was proposed to explain the phenomenon. Maybe Stevens is the best coach, because he is Nike affiliated and can help the Celts sign and keep Nike franchise players.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

• Self has said repeatedly there are only certain NBA jobs worth jumping for. One infers he means there are only certain franchises that can sign and hold top stars. Miami and LA yes. Cleveland and Orlando no. Self apparently doesn't want to start anywhere that hasn't got the owner pockets and endorsement relationship necessary to keep the players Self would draft and develop. Considering most of those are probably already tight with Nike, his choices are probably few. His ideal pro job is with an owner with deep pockets and wanting to build with Adidas stars. This owner would have to be extremely big to buck the potential blowback of challenging Nike in the NBA.

• Self appears to be signaling once again that he has the want to for the NBA, but not the need to. Still the stars maybe slowly aligning. Self and Pitino and a few others are slowly but steadily stocking the NBA with some Adidas talent. And Self has just signed a potential player of the decade type. And Jerrance Howard is now in place as assistant head coach for an orderly transition. The chances are Self stays at KU, unless Adidas has big plans at the NBA level soon. Adidas is struggling in depressed Europe. Unless some one with deep pockets backs Adidas, an Adidas challenge of Nike at the NBA level seems unlikely. It would take someone huge, someone interested in global oligopoly building in petroleum based shoe market growing by leaps and bounds the next 50 years in China. Maybe it is just a coincidence Blackstone has reputedly been acquiring a big stake in Adidas. Coincidences happen sometimes. Same as planning.

Rock Chalk!

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 10 months ago

One fear that I would have for Self leaving would be Popovich stepping down. But some have said that he has an assistant there intended to be the heir apparent anyway so....

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago


I used to think that was a significant concern, too. But the more I think about the role of endoresment monies in professional basketball, the more I think that simple professional familiarity and respect are not necessarily able to take precedent entirely over legacy business relationships in the field of endorsements.

Lots of things have to align for any one to be hired for anything. I am just hypothesizing that legacy business relationships in the field of endorsements may now be yet one more thing that has to be brought into line for certain hires to occur.

But I'm a fan and an outsider looking from afar, so I could be completely wrong about this, as goes almost without saying. :-)

texashawk10 8 years, 10 months ago

I think you're over thinking this one jb. Illinois is a Nike school and was when Self was there and KU was a Nike school when Self came here.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Could be. But my point is that Self and KU flushing Nike for Adidas could have created some enduring bad blood. And if Nike were being seriously challenged by Adidas because of stock pressure on Adidas to make a move things might get bitter. I've never heard of a large, dominant oligopolist like Nike appears to be just chilling about a major move on their bread and butter positions.

But things are at least more complicated than my initial hypothesis; that's for sure. And that's what hypotheses are for. Moving toward more insight about a phenomenon. Thanks for weighing in.

Dee Shaw 8 years, 10 months ago

Relax Rick. Andrew Wiigins will be the number one draft pick. Joel Embiid the number two pick. Come on.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 10 months ago

I think rick's comment shows why many people think he will be starting early not mid season.

Jim Stauffer 8 years, 10 months ago

So then you guys are suggesting Self could not change to Nike in the NBA? Or that the reason Stevens got the job with the Celtics is because he was already Nike and Self could not be changed to Nike?

I am not that acquainted with the NBA or Nike, but it seems to me if Nike is all you make them out to be they would jump at the opportunity to get a man of Self's stature on their payroll.

Kyle Rohde 8 years, 10 months ago

So Mario's "all-star" game included our nat'l champ PG and four fringe starters? How exciting...

jhox 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm not sure Self is that we'll suited to be an NBA coach. Oh, he could adapt, he's proven to be good at that. But I am not sure his demeanor when dealing with players in game situations would be a good fit. He's a very demanding guy, and the typical NBA veteran might have trouble dealing with that. He's the perfect college coach, and he's where he belongs. It's good for him to float this sort of thing out there periodically so he can get a bigger check or extend his contract, and get some facility improvement he may want for the players. (Come to think of it, KU could use a new players living quarters to better compete with Kentucky.)

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 10 months ago

There's some demanding NBA Coaches too though. I would argue that Tom Thibodeau is demanding, for example.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

" Personally I think I have one of the premier jobs in the world at any level. I think there’s a lot of jobs out there in the league that are hard jobs just like there are college jobs that are hard jobs. I’m blessed to be at a place I think we can attract good players year in and out. " Bill Self

A movie came out a few years ago called " I Love You, Beth Cooper".

We need a new one - " I Love You, Bill Self "

REHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Are the Spurs and Thunder Nike clad organizations?

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 10 months ago

Oh, man! Can you imagine Self being hired away by OKC?!?!?!?!?!

texashawk10 8 years, 10 months ago

Nike has never been the official apparel maker for the NBA. All uniforms are are currently Adidas, it was Reebok before that, and Champion before that.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 10 months ago

“..Mario invited me to be here. I wanted to show my support. He’s a KU fan. He’s a KU alumni. I’m a KU alumni too.." Seems odd to call yourself an Alumni having only attended college for two semesters!

Steven Mathew 8 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, I noticed that too, which was why I wanted to look up exactly what "alumnus" means. Merriam-Webster defines "alumnus" as a a person who has attended or has graduated from a particular school, college, or university.

So, technically speaking, he is an alumnus.

Andrew Horigan 8 years, 10 months ago

Sorry! I jumped too soon and posted the exact thing you just said.

Andrew Horigan 8 years, 10 months ago

The definition of alumni doesn't necessarily mean graduate "An alumnus can also be a former member, employee, contributor, or inmate, as well as a former student." So yes, he is an alumni

John Randall 8 years, 10 months ago

Does Miriam Webster also distinguish between plural and singular? "Alumni" is a group – not an individual ...

bad_dog 8 years, 10 months ago

Who is Miriam Webster? The spouse of Merriam perhaps? I want to ensure we distinguish them correctly as well...

Boouk 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't see Embiid going in top 5 if he's only playing 15 minutes a game behind Black and Ellis. Look for him to be a top 3 pick in the 2015 draft after improving his offensive skills and weight room strength next offseason.

Robert Brock 8 years, 10 months ago

Embiid is sashimi raw. Look for him to stay in Lawrence two, maybe three years.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 10 months ago

Boouk, Brock. I think 2 years it is. Besides, Joel LOVED IT here when he attended Late Night. Unless he excels and meets or exceeds expectations I would think that he'll be back.

When I say meets expectations I'm talking about the likes of Pitino saying 2nd pick. I think with his minutes limited - not going to be able to see enough of that next season.

In Year 2 he starts the entire year and will be asked to do far more.

If you remember the Morris twins made a HUGE jump from Freshman year to Sophomore year, and AT LEAST Marcus, MAYBE could've come out early if he wanted to. I think Markieff's stock wasn't high enough for them to come out together at the end of that year and that's actually one reason they decided to both come back for another year. I think following the UNI loss they hardly expected that they'd lose to VCU in the tournament just 1 year later!!!! :) lol

notjustbread 8 years, 10 months ago

Spalding isn't the new Nike. Go Mario, go.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm still trying to picture Robinson with a Mohawk.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 10 months ago

adidas has a contract with the NBA for all uniforms and apparel. This only DOESN'T cover shoes.

But the NBA requires the players to wear official NBA logo (adidas provided) socks, shorts, jerseys, and if they choose to wear wristbands and headbands they also are NBA logo (adidas).

Maybe Nike makes a killing off of their shoe sponsorships, but they can't sell anything with a NBA team logo. All jersey/t-shirt/ball cap sales, etc... profit adidas

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago


Which is the bigger bidness: shoes or t-shirts?

Putting China in a billion petro-tennies every two years is bigger bidness by far I would guess, though a billion t-shirts is nothing to sneeze at either.

The trouble with tShirts is that they're not all petro shirts. Tennies are all petro tennies. They have no cotton competition.

Big oil can get you leverage in countries like China that King Cotton can't.

Think of Nike like petrochemical outfit rather than a shoe company.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 10 months ago

Where's the write-up about the Chalmers All Star game? What former KU players attended? What was the make up of the teams? Who won? How much money was raised? Even the photo gallery has very few pictures of the actual game.

jgkojak 8 years, 10 months ago

I have always thought Bill would stick around for Tyler's time here and likely to meet Roy's 15 years or at least to beat Roy's win#.

After year 15 I think all bets are off. If I'm Self's buddy at San Antonio, or if I'm the Thunder, that's when I make the call.

Virgil_Caine 8 years, 10 months ago

I think Coach Self really wants that second ring, and won't consider the NBA until he's accomplished that. He knows that's what separates the Dean Smiths from the Tubby Smiths, and he knows Kansas is where he can make that happen. Once he achieves that, he'll probably have to decide whether he wants to climb into that next tier of elite college coaches, or see what the NBA has in store for him.

eddiesuttonschoolofdriving 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure succeeding in the NBA is tempting for any coaches ego and I sure wouldn't begrudge Coach Self for wanting to test his mettle if the right opportunity came along, but it sure seems like a bet with long odds of success. NBA players, en masse, seem very fickle about who they are willing to show respect to (college coaches don't seem to rate well) - and even those few lucky coaches who they deem worthy seem to have about a 3 year window before the players just start tuning them out. Rick Adelman comes to mind - great coach, good w/ x's and o's, a player's coach, had a playing career worthy of respect, yet get's fired as often as Italy changes governments.

There are a couple of great coaches who just get really lucky w/ timing/opportunities (such as Phil Jackson), but many more who don't (Larry Brown). College coaches, even good ones, seem to get little respect from NBA players. I seriously doubt Brad Stevens will fair better than the Mike Montgomerys of the world. Too many NBA players just don't think they have much to learn, and fewer buy into the concept that defense needs to be the identity of the team. I think Self is good enough, and think he could kill with the right team (character guys who will "buy in"), I just think the odds of those stars aligning in the NBA are slim. Best of luck to him whatever may come.

eddiesuttonschoolofdriving 8 years, 10 months ago

That would be a fine addition to a proud tradition, started by the "Bob Kasten School of Driving", which was the name of a "party" which won student body elections at UW Madison eons ago - and which was named after U.S. Senator Bob Kasten's legendary drunk-driving exploits - which is saying a lot for a politician from Wisconsin, where drunk driving is pretty much a prerequisite to even running.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 10 months ago

Could add Bob Huggins School of Driving to the list for a little in conference fun.

eddiesuttonschoolofdriving 8 years, 10 months ago

If only Bobby Petrino would land in the Big 12, someday, someday . . .

colreader 8 years, 10 months ago

On the subject of HCBS (or any college coach) going pro, I would think that spending many days and nights away from home - roughly 40 away games/trips - would be a huge undesirable prospect when compared with only 12 away games [not counting the 3+ or so games in KC] during a college season. The travel, weather delays, hotel rooms, hotel food, lots of hurry up and wait, and living out of a suitcase would just get SO OLD!!! All that hassle for several million more?
Well, yeah, maybe for several million more!

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Colreader, the NBA is probably much less travel than D1, because there is no recruiting. And if you are a gregarious type the camaraderie of an NBA team is probably good over a season, if u r a mentor like Phil Jackson. Also there are no alumni in the L. The season is terribly long though.

Beate Williams 8 years, 10 months ago

I think because of the kind of person HCBS is, we might never know when or what team's might be "flirting" with him. Who knows, this is my perception, if the Celtis came to him or not, except the Celtics and Bill, if they did, I can see where Bill would not want to rain on Brad's parade by implying he could have had the job but didn't want it so they went with their second choice. Not saying that actually happened, but can see it going down that way.
And even though Bill has not simply flat out said he would not take a pro job, hell, it doesn't make sense to say you will not do something when you don't know what the future holds, doesn't mean that he isn't the Coach K type who simply loves to teach and very little teaching occurs in the L. Like everyone else, just speculating, but...

brooksmd 8 years, 10 months ago

And I continue to ask myself why would any top college coach want to leave a top college program to try and coach a bunch of multi-millionaire prima donnas?

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